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Old 09-28-2009, 10:17 AM
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Just got back from RCL Voyageur 7 days Mrditerranean cruise was surprised had to pay 7% Sales Tax on drinks in addition to 15% Gratuity and 16%VAT on all on-board purchases. Do all European cruises charge these taxes?
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Old 09-28-2009, 10:20 AM
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The 15% gratuity on bar service is standard; but I've never heard of paying a sales tax or a VAT onboard.
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Old 09-28-2009, 10:28 AM
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I've encountered paying sales tax on bar purchases while in U.S. ports. Was this throughout the cruise or just when you were in a port?
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Old 09-28-2009, 10:38 AM
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Excerpt from the RCI website:

Value-Added Tax (VAT)
On select itineraries we are required by the local law to collect value added tax (VAT) on select onboard purchases. The tax will be added at the time of purchase onboard. The VAT requirement is applicable to itineraries that sail only to European Union* ports of call.

Travelers from countries outside of the European Union are eligible for a VAT refund on select purchases they make within the European Union.
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Old 09-28-2009, 10:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dave:
Excerpt from the RCI website:

Value-Added Tax (VAT)
On select itineraries we are required by the local law to collect value added tax (VAT) on select onboard purchases. The tax will be added at the time of purchase onboard. The VAT requirement is applicable to itineraries that sail only to European Union* ports of call.

Travelers from countries outside of the European Union are eligible for a VAT refund on select purchases they make within the European Union.
Yikes this must be something new
I did not think the shops onboard were open when in port but drinks could still be purchased.
They would not be part of the refund from VAT though.
I wonder if it is just in port or in any waters in the EU?
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Old 09-28-2009, 10:49 AM
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I suppose local waters could be included. For instance, when cruising out of Baltimore a couple months ago the bars had to charge local sales tax until we passed under some bridge. In Mobile they charge it (and also have a limited bar menu) until the ship exits Mobile Bay.
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Old 09-28-2009, 11:24 AM
 
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As Dave said, when a ship is in local waters it technically is required to collect the local taxes. In international waters this should never happen and would be fraudulent if any line called such a charge a tax. Of course the answer for many passengers is not to purchase beverages when in (or near) port.

Hank
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Old 10-02-2009, 08:46 PM
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Nov. 20 will begin my first cruise, a 10 day East Meditterean cruise out of Civitavecchia, Italy. I like to indulge in alcoholic beverages, but I see that the advice is not to purchase them in or near port. So you are saying that whenever I order this beverage at meal time, I am subject to paying some kind of a tax on top of that 15% gratituity? Is purchasing the beverage on land allowed to be brought on board the ship so I can indulge it in my room then?
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Old 10-02-2009, 09:47 PM
 
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The local taxes only apply when you are in port (or within local waters) and is only applied at some ports (I have no clue as to which ports these days). As to bringing alcohol aboard, it depends on which cruise line. Some, like HA and Princess allow you to bring some wine aboard. Others, like RCI, confiscate any alcohol when you come on-board and than return it at the end of the cruise.

Hank
 
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